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Dealing with Bosses and Coworkers/Re: Injustice - perceived or real?


Hi Doug.

  I've been working in the food industry for 14 years off and on. During a recent work, I encountered some things that I thought were unfair, but I'm willing to look from an outsider's opinion for what could have been the real events. I just want to make sure it's fairly evaluated and I'm not jumping off of the deep end.

  First, I was counseled by my boss because I didn't pick up a dropped piece of food on the ground. There was no apparent teamwork, but I disagreed. When I made a mess, I took it upon myself to clean it up, even before being told to do so. I'm clumsy, I admit! But if I'm responsible for MY mess, why should I have to pick up something that someone ELSE picked up? That's not teamwork if I have to clean up after others.

  Secondly, I felt that an injustice was by my Head Cook in that I had to sweep and mop up the kitchen at the end of the night because that's what a "man" is supposed to do. I felt that this was really sexist. Am I in the wrong? I brought it up to my Director, but he didn't do anything about it. I don't mind helping clean up after a long shift, but a rotating schedule should have been better in my opinion.

  Please let me know what your opinion on the aforementioned examples. I always welcome other opinions, and yours is very much appreciated. Thanks again.


Frank, but I'm sorry that I don't see the injustice or sexism that you are referring to. My sister-in-law is a restaurant manager and her spouse is a district manager, and they tell me that they both pick food off the floor and sweep every day.  She says that cleaning up after other people is 60% of her job.  Those functions are integral to the success of a store.  It sounds to me like the Head Cook doesn't like to sweep so she has you do it.  When you are head cook, you will likely assign tasks that you dislike to others as well.  There is nothing wrong with that.  There is also nothing really wrong with her saying sweeping is what a "man" is supposed to do. I have no idea what her motivation was to say it, but I suspect she was saying it "tongue in cheek" because sweeping is not the stereotypical "man job".

It would be like if you worked in a department store and the manager asked you to work cosmetics today, because "that is what a man is supposed to do."

She was probably trying to little the mood, but even if she wasn't, that is the job that she has assigned for you, so that would be the job that you'll need to do if you want the work.

So "Man Up" (tongue in cheek) and sweep.

Dealing with Bosses and Coworkers

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Doug Staneart


Doug Staneart can answer questions about gaining cooperation from, motivating, and influencing coworkers and employers. He is also an expert on how to avoid and resolve conflicts as well as other issues dealing with long term business relationships.


Doug Staneart has been a speaker and trainer for over ten years specializing in public speaking, leadership training, and team building. Doug is CEO of The Leader?s Institute® (Team Building Events) based in Dallas and author of the books 40 Ways to Influence People and Fearless Presentations. He has accumulated over 2700 hours of classroom coaching and training with over 400 of the Fortune 500.

BA Business Management

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